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Watch 2022 online sermons » John Bradshaw » John Bradshaw - Blood Pressure and Health

John Bradshaw - Blood Pressure and Health

John Bradshaw - Blood Pressure and Health
John Bradshaw - Blood Pressure and Health
TOPICS: Health

John Bradshaw: This is It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. Thanks for joining me. When you open the Bible, you find some remarkable things said about Jesus. I'm gonna turn to John chapter 10 and read to you what it says in verse 10. John 10, verse 10. Honestly, it's one of the most hopeful verses that you'll find in all of the Bible. These are the words of Jesus Christ. He said, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly". How would you feel about having more abundant life? What would that look like to you? Longer life? Happier life? Healthier life? Well, there are certain things that you can do about all of those things. And today I'm talking to a couple of very special guests, doctors David DeRose and Greg Steinke, coauthors of the book "30 Days to Natural Blood Pressure Control". High blood pressure is a killer. Doctors, thanks very much for joining me today.

Dr. Greg Steinke: Thank you for having us.

John Bradshaw: Dr. DeRose, how big a problem is high blood pressure?

Dr. David DeRose: It is a huge problem. One billion people throughout the world have high blood pressure. The numbers are staggering in our country as well. If you look at our lifetime, our life span, about an 80 percent likelihood that any individual in the US will develop high blood pressure.

John Bradshaw: Looking through the book, I found a staggering number in here: 80,000 people succumb or die from natural disasters around the world... that's a lot.

Dr. David DeRose: That's a lot of people.

John Bradshaw: It's a tragedy, 9.4 million, more than a hundred times more, die from high blood pressure. It is a massive problem, isn't it?

Dr. David DeRose: It's a huge problem, and we've gotta do something about it, as a world.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Steinke, you're a family practice physician. How many of the patients you see are dealing with high blood pressure issues?

Dr. Greg Steinke: Every day we see multiple patients who become so used to the problem that it, we think about it as part of our, uh, everyday, uh, aspect.

John Bradshaw: I mean, you think about this, right? You meet someone with diabetes. "Yep, sure". Heart issues? "Sure". High blood pressure, this is normal for people, and we just accept it as part of everyday life. Need we accept high blood pressure as the norm?

Dr. Greg Steinke: People think, uh, that it, they feel fine with it, and so they act like nothing's wrong. And yet, uh, it comes and kills them eventually through, uh, a process, uh, that's very sneaky.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, okay, so this is the silent killer; we've referred to that before, the silent killer, which is high blood pressure. Now, uh, we've spoken before about this, Dr. DeRose, you and I, uh, about some of the ways that people can treat high blood pressure. Medication is a viable way to treat high blood pressure, except that...?

Dr. David DeRose: Well, except for two things. One, although it may be the first course, it may be the thing you need to do out of the box, you cannot lower your blood pressure enough with medications to get the maximal benefit. Once you get to around 130/80, somewhere in that range, further lowering of blood pressure, for many people, actually increases the risk of complications. But you wanna get that blood pressure as low as possible with natural therapies. So natural therapies have the most power to help us avoid the silent killer.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Steinke, what are some things that elevate blood pressure, that some people might be surprised. Well, really? That elevates my blood pressure? Can you think of some of those things?

Dr. Greg Steinke: Well, one really surprising thing in the research is what actually happens in the womb. Amazingly, as a mother is going through her pregnancy, if she has a lot of stress, she goes through mental stress, physical stress, emotional stress that's very strong, a loss of a loved one, a death in the family, if in the 28-week to 36-week continuum, that's where the kidneys are developing, that stress occurs, that can affect the development of the kidney, and the kidney has less nephrons that develop properly. Nephrons, these are the filtering units that push blood through to make urine. And if there's less nephrons, as you go through life, um, your blood pressure is eventually affected.

John Bradshaw: Now, does that mean, then, that a, that a pregnant woman who has a loss in the family, a parent who dies, does this doom the unborn child to these complications?

Dr. David DeRose: We wouldn't say "dooms," but we definitely have things that are out of our control that affect us, and to me, John, it's so fascinating when we read the Bible, that God often had special concern for pregnant women, especially when God had a special plan. I think of, uh, people like John the Baptist. I think of, uh, Samson. Special instruction, because that time of pregnancy, the baby is being affected by what's happening to the mother.

John Bradshaw: There seems to be a science, or a branch of science, that we're starting to learn more about what takes place in the womb, the prenatal influence. That's, that's the real thing, isn't it?

Dr. Greg Steinke: Absolutely. We need to have special attention to pregnant moms. We need to give pregnant moms, um, more room in jobs, etc. so that they're not overstressed. Whatever we can do as family members to support a pregnant mother will do wonderful things for that baby.

John Bradshaw: Yeah, that's important. Now, that's something that people might be surprised raises blood pressure. Well, let me turn that around before I ask you about a specific chapter in the book. What's something, Dr. DeRose, that people might be surprised to learn lowers blood pressure?

Dr. David DeRose: Well, it's your day-to-day eating habits. A lot of people think, uh, some of this is just immaterial. Most people have heard about the salt connection, so they make that. But they don't realize that there are a lot of other things that we eat that raise blood pressure and, by contrast, other things lower it. Make it simple: Eat more plant foods, whole plant foods, and you are going to have lower blood pressure. Study after study has shown that.

John Bradshaw: Now, the chapter here, I had it open a moment ago, "Eating Your Way to Lower Blood Pressure" I think is the name of the chapter, or something very similar, it's very, very helpful. Um, so, eat better; lower blood pressure. But, how bad is it for me that I grab that hotdog on the street corner, or the burger at lunch, uh, several times during the week? What does that really do to my blood pressure?

Dr. Greg Steinke: You know, it was interesting, I had a patient; he was a marathon runner. He was in great shape. He was only in his thirties. But he'd come in, and his blood pressure was always very, very high: 150s, 160s, uh, over 70s or 80s. He was worried about his blood pressure. He couldn't get it down. He was trying to do everything right. But he was eating too much meat. He thought, oh, I'll just eat some red meat here and there, no big deal; it's just part of my lifestyle. But he was very sensitive. As little as, uh, red meat as little as once a week was raising his blood pressure. Finally, he realized that this was the issue. He cut it out completely. His blood pressure went completely to normal.

John Bradshaw: Is it fair to say most everyone would realize the same benefit, or are some people predisposed to certain, uh, stimuli?

Dr. David DeRose: We don't want to say "the same benefit," because we're all unique, but definitely dietary change. A review, in fact, of some 80 studies showed that whether your blood pressure was normal or whether it was elevated, eating more plant foods, substituting animal products for plant foods, lowered the blood pressure.

John Bradshaw: Why are plant foods so powerful?

Dr. David DeRose: There's a number of reasons. My favorite one to talk about are natural compounds, we call them phytochemicals, that are in plants. We now know that among those phytochemicals are ACE inhibitory peptides. Now, the average person might say, "Well, who cares"? But these compounds in plants are the same type of compounds that are in prescription drugs. So it's as if the Creator has said, "Look, John, I don't want you to have high blood pressure. Eat these foods that I gave to Adam and Eve in the garden, and it will keep your blood pressure more normal".

John Bradshaw: Now, we go way back, and so, in fact, we three go way back, uh, so I know you're not cranky. Uh, and you're not saying, uh, you got to become a, uh, some kind of diet radical. Although, not that we'd necessarily be against somebody really fully embracing the very best health principles. Tell me about the sort of incremental changes a person can start to make in their diet to be, you spoke about one: not eating red meat. What are some other things that people can just do, say, try this and see what happens?

Dr. Greg Steinke: We really recommend a progressive approach. We realize that people can only do so much at one time. Uh, fruits and vegetables, magnesium, potassium, calcium, these all have strong benefits for blood pressure. So how can I as a person get more fruits and vegetables into my diet, you know? Can I bring them home more? Can I make smoothies? What can I do to get my blood pressure down with fruits and vegetables? Can I replace certain foods that I'm eating with more simple foods, like fruits and vegetables?

John Bradshaw: I think it's true, you know, we talk about the standard American diet, S-A-D, SAD, the SAD diet. Well, let's be honest. The average person's eating a pretty sad diet.

Dr. David DeRose: You're right, John. And what's interesting about your whole question is we've got a graph in this book, probably one of the most powerful graphs, and I know it because, Greg has heard me tell this story before, but someone who had heard me present on this topic came up to me once, some months after my lecture, said, "Dr. DeRose, your lecture changed my whole life". And I guess, you know, it's possible I was tempted to become proud at that moment, but the Lord immediately removed any opportunity for me to be proud because he next said, "But it was nothing you said".

John Bradshaw: Oh, thank God for that. All right. All right.

Dr. David DeRose: And so I'm thinking, well, how did my lecture change his life, if it's nothing I said? He said, "It was that graph that you showed". It's actually figure 5.3 in the book. And what it shows is just where your line of questioning is going. If you get some of those red meats, some of those animal products, out of the diet, the research shows you'll lower your risk both of diabetes and high blood pressure. But the more you get rid of those animal products, the lower and the lower and the lower the risk gets. So, fascinating data that's out there. Eat more of those plant foods; you'll get more magnesium, more potassium, more ACE inhibitory peptides, and your blood pressure will tend to be lower.

John Bradshaw: And you'll have life more abundantly, which is what Jesus came into this world to give us. There's more to cover. We'll be right back with more in just a moment.

John Bradshaw: Thanks for joining me today on It Is Written. I'm John Bradshaw. My guests today are doctors David DeRose from CompassHealth Consulting and, uh, Greg Steinke, who's a family practice physician in Lincoln City, Oregon. Gentlemen, we're talking about a silent killer, uh, high blood pressure, which is just, uh, a huge problem. We all know people who are dealing with hypertension, and it's out of control. They don't know what to do. They're taking medication. The medication doesn't work; it does work; it has negative side effects, and, the key is our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Jesus came so that we could have the more abundant life. High blood pressure. Now, here's a practical question. How do people even know what their blood pressure is without, without going to the doctor and making a copay? How can you advise someone how to check their blood pressure? Not everybody has a blood pressure cuff.

Dr. Greg Steinke: We actually recommend that you don't initially go to the doctor to check your blood pressure. When you go to the doctor, what happens? You're nervous. Um, your blood pressure tends to be a lot higher.

John Bradshaw: I've heard that. If, when you get your blood pressure taken at the physician's office, it gives you a higher reading because of the pressure surrounding the situation.

Dr. Greg Steinke: Yeah, the "white coat syndrome," they call it.

John Bradshaw: Yeah. Okay.

Dr. Greg Steinke: So, check your blood pressure at home in a natural setting, in a setting you're used to. Um, if you don't own a blood pressure cuff, go get one. Or perhaps you have a friend or a family member who has a blood pressure cuff. Um, you can go to various stores; there's supermarkets and pharmacies that have blood pressure, um, machines available.

John Bradshaw: Are they accurate?

Dr. Greg Steinke: Um, they're pretty accurate, for the most part.

John Bradshaw: Accurate enough? All right.

Dr. Greg Steinke: You wanna make sure the cuff is the right size. Um, if the cuff is too large, the pressure will be off; or too small, the pressure will be off. But very important that, uh, that you do it accurately. But checking your blood pressure at home is important, especially if you're making lifestyle changes and you're on medication. If you're beginning to make some of these changes we're talking about, um, your blood pressure will start to go down in many cases over a period of a few weeks, perhaps a month. And if you're not checking your blood pressure, you could start to get side effects from, uh, the medications becoming too powerful and making you dizzy, um, lightheaded, etc.

John Bradshaw: Hmm. Okay, now, you really said something that's key to this. In order to get your blood pressure under control, you need to make changes, right? You gotta do some things differently to what you're doing now. We become creatures of habit, and without thinking it through, because we think we're bulletproof and we're gonna live forever, we think that this burger, my third one today, probably will hurt that guy, but not me. Somebody considering, thinking right now, "Yeah, I got to do something", how do you move that person to action? How do you encourage that person to actually act on what they're hearing now, rather than just say, "Oh, you'll get around to that one day"? Dr. DeRose?

Dr. David DeRose: There's nothing more powerful, John, that I can recommend than actually praying about your health concerns. The Holy Spirit is there to convict, to guide, to comfort. So the Holy Spirit is able to point out what you need to change today, and I often tell my audiences that, "I can't tell you what to change. I can't tell you how big to make those dietary changes". But I say, "Go in the quiet of your room and ask God what He's calling you to do. If God's calling you to do it, He's not gonna ask you to do anything that He's not fully committed to change in your life". And that's what the Holy Spirit does. It gives you the vision to change, and then the power to make those changes.

John Bradshaw: All right, so you take this to God, lay it at His feet, and then expect God to work this out in your life?

Dr. David DeRose: Well, you know, I'll be honest with you. God sometimes works miraculously, but other times He says, "This is the way; walk ye in it".

John Bradshaw: Oh, pardon me; I don't mean to suggest inactivity, but you're gonna do this, the best way to do this is in cooperation with God.

Dr. David DeRose: Definitely, definitely.

John Bradshaw: Now, somebody who is on medication, and they, they, they're making changes, and they wanna cut back their meds, what's the responsible way of going about that?

Dr. David DeRose: The responsible way is tell your physician. Whoever's prescribing those medications should be involved in that process. And I'm typically, when I'm seeing those numbers getting down, 120 or below, in most people, we're starting to back off those medications.

John Bradshaw: We'll be back with more that can change your life in this world and in the world to come, in just a moment.

John Bradshaw: Thanks for joining me today on It Is Written, where we're discussing your health in this world and in the world to come. Look after yourself here, and you seriously increase your chances of having a closer, more meaningful relationship with God, and therefore that impacts you eternally. Dr. David DeRose, when it comes to high blood pressure, which we've learned today kills over 9 million people in the world every year, that's kills them, not just cripples them, that's more than a hundred times the amount of people that die in natural disasters. Uh, I'm really interested that, that toxins, you talk about this in your book, toxins can elevate blood pressure. What toxins and how?

Dr. David DeRose: One group of toxins that we talk about that is especially devastating are the heavy metals. So whether it's lead, whether it's mercury, whether it's cadmium, many of these heavy metals raise blood pressure. And the scary thing is many people are being exposed to these in their typical dietary choices. So we're being bombarded with toxins, contributing to higher blood pressure, and this is adding to the burden of suffering worldwide.

John Bradshaw: Now, we know to get lead out of our paint, but how do we get lead or mercury out of our diet?

Dr. David DeRose: The problem is most animal products concentrate these toxins. And unfortunately, one food that has some good constituents, that's fish, some of those fish have those omega-3 fats that lower blood pressure and decrease inflammation. Unfortunately, those same fish often concentrate toxins. So the solution in the book and in our lectures, we say don't go to the fish for the omega-3 fats; go to the place where the fish got it, and that is from plant sources of nutrition.

John Bradshaw: Now, um, another thing that I find fascinating is that there are some supplements that you can take that help lower, uh, blood pressure. And we're not in the supplement business here, but you are in the, in the business of giving good advice. So what are some things that people can take, uh, that would help with high blood pressure?

Dr. Greg Steinke: Um, the list, uh, that we looked at was magnesium, coenzyme Q10, uh, omega-3, which we mentioned. And one of my favorites is hibiscus tea. Hibiscus is one of the most popular, uh, components of herbal teas. And hibiscus tea has a number of studies, randomized trials, which are careful, controlled studies, showing that hibiscus lowers blood pressure, as strongly as medication.

John Bradshaw: As strongly as medication?

Dr. Greg Steinke: That's correct.

John Bradshaw: Well, that's fascinating.

Dr. Greg Steinke: So, three cups a day of hibiscus tea, um, will lower your blood pressure as strongly as medication. But one caution with that: Make sure you rinse out your mouth after you're finished drinking hibiscus tea. You know why?

John Bradshaw: No, why?

Dr. Greg Steinke: Because, um, it can be hard on the enamel.

John Bradshaw: Okay, well, that's good advice. Now, you're both Christians. Dr. DeRose, you're a minister of the gospel. Uh, as you look into the Bible, you find sort of a prescription in the Word of God, you've referred to this, in the Beatitudes. Walk us through some of these principles in the Beatitudes, which talk about a relationship with God and some of the lifestyle impacts that has that deals with high blood pressure.

Dr. David DeRose: It's, it's a fascinating chapter, because, as Greg and I and Trudy, our other coauthor, were praying about how do we present to people across the spiritual spectrum what are spiritual principles that can impact our blood pressure, we were drawn to the Beatitudes. And I'll give you an example. As Jesus began that statement of blessings, the introduction to His Sermon on the Mount, He said, "Blessed are those who mourn". That was very early, the second beatitude.

John Bradshaw: Yeah.

Dr. David DeRose: "Blessed," the first one, "Blessed are the poor in spirit", the first one. You may say, poor in spirit, mourning? This doesn't... how would this help blood pressure?

John Bradshaw: And those were very countercultural principles in the context in which Jesus shared them.

Dr. David DeRose: Most definitely. But as we look at those, and we look at the next beatitude, about "Blessed are the meek," these, again, countercultural, but all of them, they're, they're basically helping us recognize our dependence, recognize our need for God, humbling ourselves. And we find that this is so important in one of the elements that we spend a whole chapter dealing with, and that is social support. Because what we know about blood pressure is just like we found with diabetes and heart disease and other conditions: If you connect with other people, and you make changes with other people, you, in your church, have a group of people saying, "We're gonna lower our blood pressure together," that magnifies the impact. But the only way that happens, John, optimally, is if I'm humble enough to learn from other people. If I'm coming down to someone else's level, if I'm meek, if I'm submissive, if I'm repenting of my own sins, if I'm mourning for my own shortcomings, that's when this social support is maximized.

John Bradshaw: So in Matthew chapter 5, Dr. Steinke, let me, let me run a couple of these blessings past you. "Blessed are the merciful," verse 7, "for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed", maybe this is an easy one, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God". Talk about heart health or, or, or high blood pressure health in relation to that.

Dr. Greg Steinke: One of the most important aspects, I believe, is forgiveness. "Blessed are the merciful", people who are willing to extend, uh, an attitude of forgiveness to those who hurt them. Um, there's a study done by Dr. Dick Tibbits in Florida Hospital, amazing research, an eight-week study, where he took people who, many of them, had anger issues, blood pressure issues, and he walked them through a forgiveness, uh, training program. And by the end, their blood pressures were down. They had a notable improvement in their blood pressure. Forgiveness, letting yourself, um, put, put forgiveness on another person. And also with God, um, asking God to forgive you for your shortcomings and letting that peace, uh, come into your heart; that lowers the cortisol and the stress hormones in your body, improving your blood pressure.

John Bradshaw: It's not always easy to accept: the Bible says, "All things work together for good". Ultimately, we, we've gotta trust God in the midst of all things, don't we?

Dr. David DeRose: That's right.

John Bradshaw: Trust Him. We don't always understand it. Why did my loved one die? Why am I wrestling with this illness? If you see the big picture, it's still possible to trust God.

Dr. David DeRose: That's right.

John Bradshaw: Okay, as we wrap up, just a couple of quick points, something we haven't discussed about, uh, high blood pressure, its connection to faith in God, its connection to good health, spiritual health, what would you, what would you add as final words?

Dr. David DeRose: You know, one thing I would say is make sure that you know your blood pressure and that you do something about it if it's elevated. Just a simple motivational message.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Steinke?

Dr. Greg Steinke: Absolutely. You know, think about why you wanna be healthy. Why, ultimately, do you wanna be healthy? Whether it has religious and spiritual aspects to it, maybe it has everything to do with your grandchildren, or your children, or, or the friends that you have. Think about the deeper aspect and use that as a motivator to change lifestyle behaviors.

John Bradshaw: Dr. Greg Steinke, Dr. David DeRose, thanks so much for joining me today.

Dr. David DeRose: Our privilege.

John Bradshaw: Gentlemen, thanks for joining me today. Let's pray together. Can we do that? Let's pray. Our Father in heaven, we are truly thankful that You have an eternity stretching before us that You want us to inhabit and experience with You. We thank You that in Jesus You have done everything necessary to secure our salvation. We thank You that in this world, where so much is going wrong, we can experience so much going right, through faith in Christ, the One who died for us, who ascended to heaven for us, who intercedes for us at Your right hand. Father, let Your Spirit draw us to You, to find peace and wholeness and health, physically and spiritually, in You. Bless us and keep us, as we trust You fully. In Jesus' name. Amen. Thank you for joining me today. I'm looking forward to seeing you again next time. Until then, remember: "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'"
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